Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Don Nicoll

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 322


Robert Theodore Stafford was born in Rutland, Vermont on August 8, 1913 and educated in the public schools of Rutland. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1935 and attended the University of Michigan Law School. He graduated from the Boston University Law School in 1938. He served as Rutland County prosecuting attorney from 1938 to 1942. During World War II, from 1942 to 1946, he was a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy. He also served during the Korean conflict from 1951 to 1953 and was a captain in the United States Navy Reserve. He was Rutland County State’s attorney from 1947 to 1951, deputy State attorney general from 1953 to1955; and State attorney general from 1955 to 1957. He served as lieutenant Governor from 1957 to 1959 and as Governor of Vermont from 1959 to 1961. He was elected as a Republican to the Eighty-seventh Congress in 1960, reelected to the five succeeding Congresses, and served from January 3, 1961 until his resignation from the House of Representatives on September 16, 1971. He then became a U.S. Senator, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Winston L. Prouty. He was reelected in 1976 and again in 1982 for the term ending January 3, 1989. He opted not to run again in 1988. During his time in the Senate, he served as chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works (Ninety-seventh through Ninety-ninth Congresses). Stafford died on December 23, 2006 in Rutland.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Muskie’s skiing experience; House Armed Services Committee; Public Works Committee; Labor and Human Resources Committee; Education Committee; and Environment and Public Works Committee.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.